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  • Your Care Team

    members of an adult care team

    Your care team includes experienced professionals who have access to the latest and safest knowledge about cancer care. During your treatment, you and your family will meet and interact with some or all of the following specialists.


    • Attending physician: Supervises your care if you receive treatment or are in the hospital.
    • Medical oncologist: Specializes in cancer and oversees your chemotherapy and/or other medical treatments.
    • Surgical oncologist: A surgeon who specializes in cancer surgery, creates a plan for your operation, performs the procedure, and supervises your post-operative care.
    • Radiation oncologist: A physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer using radiation. The radiation oncologist prescribes needed doses, identifies where beams will be placed, and oversees radiation treatments.
    • Psychiatrist: A physician who evaluates and helps you manage the psychological and emotional issues you may experience during cancer treatment.
    • Oncology fellow: Takes care of patients under the supervision of oncologists. The oncology fellow has a medical degree and has completed residency, and is now training in cancer care.
    • Intern and resident: A physician training in medicine, who may take care of you while you are an inpatient or in some outpatient settings.

    Nurses and physician assistants

    • Infusion (chemotherapy) nurse: Specializes in the care of cancer patients and their families. These nurses help manage your care and administer chemotherapy.
    • IV nurse: May insert IVs, access your Port-A-Cath, obtain blood specimens, and administer non-chemotherapy medications.
    • Nurse practitioner: Works with your doctors to diagnose and treat illness, perform physical exams, offer preventive care, prescribe medication, and educate you about your illness and treatment.
    • Nurse scientist: Works with research coordinators and your care team on studies that may improve your quality of life.
    • Physician assistant: Works with your doctors to diagnose and treat illness, perform physical exams, offer preventive care, prescribe medication, and educate you about your illness and treatment.
    • Program nurse: Educates you about treatment plans and advises you on how best to manage side effects.
    • Radiation nurse: Specialize in caring for you and helping you manage side effects during your radiation treatment.
    • Research nurse: Participates in the care for patients who are on clinical trials and makes sure that infusion nurses are educated on your trial’s treatment protocol.

    Find out more about the Nursing and Patient Care Services department.

    Other members of your care team

    • Chaplain: Offers spiritual support to patients and families of all faiths, as well as those who are not religious.
    • Clinical assistant: Checks your vital signs and helps your nurse with certain procedures.
    • Clinical research coordinator: Works with you and your doctors, nurses, and other staff on research studies.
    • Clinical social worker: Provides emotional support and counseling to patients and their families.
    • New patient coordinator: Arranges your first outpatient visit and helps you learn about Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center.
    • Practice coordinator: Schedules your outpatient appointments and tests.
    • Diagnostic technician: Performs tests and scans that show images of your cancer.
    • Integrative therapy practitioner: Helps you with symptom management through massage, acupuncture, Reiki, meditation, and/or other mind/body therapies that may improve your quality of life.
    • Mastectomy fitter: Our certified mastectomy fitters are trained and qualified to participate in the fitting and delivery of breast prostheses and mastectomy products and services.
    • Pharmacist: Prepares and dispenses your medications and chemotherapy.
    • Phlebotomist: Draws your blood before chemotherapy treatments and assists nurses in infusion units.
    • Physical or occupational therapist: Assists you with physical difficulties that may result from your illness and its treatments. Helps strengthen gross and fine motor skills.
    • Radiation technician: Delivers radiation treatments.
    • Registered dietitian: Helps you choose foods and plan meals designed to aid your comfort, recovery, and health.
    • Resource specialist/patient navigator: Helps you find community services, short-term housing, local transportation, and referrals to community programs.
    • Respiratory therapist: Provides care and assistance to patients with cardiopulmonary problems during treatment and/or testing.
    • Volunteer: Offers a variety of services, such as greeting you at our reception desks, delivering snacks and sandwiches, assisting in the gift shops, delivering newspapers and books, visiting you in the hospital and clinics, and identifying resources.
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